Friday, August 17, 2012

Gun Control: What really ails us?

Elsewhere I have written on the topic of Gun Control and suggested that the same logic could radically change the outcomes of 'Sex Education' in public schools.

But once again, following the Aurora, CO movie theater shooting, we find life breathed into the gun 'control' debate, replete with Nanny Bloomberg orating that the problem of death by firearms is a growing one, and whoever is the next president needs to say "what they are going to do about it."

Translated, he is demanding to know what the next president will do to fix the human heart, since that is precisely the reservoir in which murder is spawned.

In reality it isn't necessary to possess a gun to inflict mass casualties, mayhem and death on a population. The Aurora shooter had rigged his apartment with explosives powerful enough to destroy the building, so it is clear that had James Holmes not had access to firearms, he could have prepared a backpack bomb and detonated it in the movie theater, probably with far more casualties. My son is a Marine, and as part of their work-ups for deployment to Afghanistan, they had a course on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). He said that while the Taliban have largely unsophisticated supplies at their disposal, their cunning and unbridled desire to inflict harm on US military personnel drives them to a level of extreme proficiency in the manufacture of IEDs, many of amazing complexity and lethality in spite of using largely low-tech components and resources. Clearly what motivates them is not the IED, but the desire to commit murder.  At the time of this writing, 39 American troops have died at the hands of their Afghan military and police counterparts who were intent upon murdering them.

In fact, if we are actually serious about protecting American lives, and given that we are in Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, why aren't we unilaterally disarming all Afghans, since any armed Afghan could potentially be the source of destruction and mayhem on our troops, and by extension, America?  Because we don't want to offend the Afghan people, nor trample on their sovereign rights (not to mention there would be absolute mayhem in the wake of the resistance by Afghan nationals.)

How telling is it then, to realize that it would be far easier to disarm Americans, whom we are not at war with, than to disarm Aghans? Gun control in America could be accomplished with the sweep of a pen and in an instant, ordinary law-abiding citizens would have to make a choice: remain law abiding - by relinquishing their right to bear arms, their right to defend life and property against any and all threats; or join the ranks of the lawless.

To be fair, gun control in America would probably never occur in such an outright manner, but would be incremental in nature. All the gun control proponents need is a foot in the door, a Trojan horse, and from there, the rest is easy. We have seen it time and time again with government regulations and entitlement programs. The slow strangulation of liberty by dribs and drabs. Who would have thought even 10 years ago that shouts of 'keep the government out of my bedroom' (abortion and homosexual rights proponents) could be turned into demands that the government provide supplies (and remedies) for the activities that take place in that very same bedroom?

Gun control advocates are control freaks, period. They tend to be the same people who want to tell you what you should eat, how you should exercise, and what you should drive. Frequently they over-moralize themselves on the basis of their loyal devotion to, if not love of, Mother Earth, preaching peace and harmony with one another, yet all the while condemning and berating those who do not believe and live as they do. They are judgmental, and in general unabashed in their intrusions into your life with their own brand of religiosity, frequently invoking some version of 'save the earth' mantra. It is a religion of the worse kind, godless yet government sanctioned, with its doctrines becoming public policy which then become the law of the land. Ironically, it is the very sort of religious imposition that worried the Danbury Baptists when they wrote to Thomas Jefferson and received his personal assurance that a wall of separation exists between the church and the state.

But I digress. Let's just back up the noodle train and actually look at some statistics. (Sigh. They are SO pesky.) Below is a dataset from 2008 for the following categories: accidental death by firearm, homicide by firearm, suicide by firearm, traffic fatalities, death by unintentional poisonings, death by unintentional fall, and death by abortion. (The most recent data set I could locate).
Here is how the data works out:

2008 Cause of Death, annually:

Abortion.................... ... 1.2 million
Traffic fatality.............. 37,985
Unintentional Poisoning... 31,116
Unintentional Fall............. 24,013
Suicide by firearm............ 18,223
Homicide by firearm........ 12,179
Accidental death by firearm...592

According to the logic put in play by gun control proponents, specifically that deaths need to be reduced, and by reducing access to firearms, deaths will be reduced, it quickly becomes evident that we have more pressing causes of death in need of elimination before we even get to the whole 'death by firearm' discussion.

In order of numbers of death caused, we need to enact the following controls, in the order shown, as a means of reducing deaths in this country:

Outlaw sex, so as to eliminate death by abortion. Lives saved: 1.2 million
Outlaw cars, so as to eliminate vehicular fatalities. Lives saved: 37,985
Outlaw every toxic substance to curb poisoning deaths. Lives saved: 31,116
Outlaw walking, climbing ladders, etc to eliminate death by fall. Lives saved: 24,013
Outlaw depression so as to eliminate suicide by firearm. Lives saved: 18,223
Outlaw guns so as to eliminate homicide by firearm. Lives saved: 12,179
Outlaw firearms to eliminate accidental death by gunshot. Live saved: 592

If we just go with facts, we find that Gun control is not about saving lives. Every abortion ends a life, so no politician who supports abortion can utter a single word about gun control and maintain a shred of credibility, because he or she has already revealed an inherent disregard for human life.

Gun control IS about power, however. Had the colonists not had access to firearms, we would still be colonists, and to the Queen would our knee be bowed. Gun control will work about as well as the decades long 'war on drugs' has worked: people who want illegal, recreational drugs, have zero difficulty obtaining them. But in the case of gun control, the very people who will be disarmed are the people society would prefer remain armed: law abiding, socially attuned individuals who respect the law. Outlaw guns, and only law-abiding citizens will voluntarily disarm. The Mafia, the sleeper terrorists, the gang bangers, the drug dealers, the Mexican drug cartel members residing in the U.S will all still have ready access to firearms.... leaving the rest of us like so many fish in a barrel.

Firearm violence is not about the guns: the gun is merely the tool employed to manifest the disease that resides in the human heart. That disease is the conjoined twins of selfishness and hatred and is an ailment as old as mankind. Despite the ascent of man up the scientific, technological, and civilization pyramid, all of which are mere outward accomplishments, what comprises man inwardly has been left utterly unchanged since his beginnings. The same ill wind still blows across the landscape of the human heart, the same tempest as when Cain killed Abel, when David schemed to have his lover's husband killed in battle, as when Judas betrayed Jesus for a handful of silver, or when John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, and James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King Jr. The very same cancer that commandeered the hearts of these assassins is the same disease that Jesus taught would bring about our ultimate separation from God. Jesus demonstrated His ability to heal by physically healing multitudes of sick, disfigured, dying people. This healing was motivated in part from the great, sweeping compassion and love bound up in his heart for humanity. But beyond that, I believe the healings served as an object lesson about our need to be healed inwardly, a supernatural, transformational healing which no human can execute. Jesus is the only Being able to provide that healing. He proved His capacity to heal, he repeatedly proved His trustworthiness. He lived an earthly life devoid of selfishness, a life always motivated by love. God demonstrated His own love for us in the person of Christ, and Christ demonstrated his love for us through his life, crucifixion and resurrection.

And because the problem is one of the inner man - of our free will and moral compass, it is a problem beyond the scope of any politician, no matter what they might claim, and no matter how many laws they write to restrain the behavior of the citizenry. Laws do not possess, nor have they ever possessed, the power to change human nature. They may modify our outward behavior as we evaluate the consequences of breaking them, but mostly they just condemn us. Meanwhile the problems of our errant free will, our spiritual selves, are left untouched.

No amount of gun control, or any other legislated control, will renew the heart.
Correctly identifying the problem comes first. And it is a personal thing.

Then its one on one: The heartsick and the Physician.

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